Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa:
Gandhi's Truth Force in the Age of Climate Change
Sivaraksa is one of Asia's leading social thinkers and activists. His wide-ranging work includes founding the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and dozens of other educational and political grassroots organizations. He is the author of over 100 books in Thai and English, including Seeds of Peace: A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society. He was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize and, in 1995, received the Right Livelihood Award known as the alternative Nobel Peace Prize.
The BBC HARDtalk Interview (2011)
Right Livelihood means a livelihood which is nonexploitative to the self or others and, as a Buddhist, I am happy to be recognized as one who tries to lead this kind of life. In my own country I am usually known as a troublemaker or rabble rouser, one who challenges the economic and technological "development" destined to make Siam another "Tiger" among the Newly Industrialized Countries modeled after Japan...This model of development has no ethical or spiritual dimension and its technological advances involve massive ecological devastation while its economic progress widens the abyss between rich and poor, even while subjecting whole populations to the voraciousness of the barely masked greed called consumerism. There are no human rights within it, especially economic, social and development human rights, even as it sometimes pays lip service to civil and political freedom. It is called "progress", which comes from the Latin root meaning madness. Since I want to be sane and to live in a saner world I have spent my life attempting to offer alternatives, not only in my country but throughout Asia and beyond. To paraphrase Schumacher, my efforts are "small" but attempt to be "beautiful".
- Sivaraksa, Right Livelihood Award acceptance speech